Picture this: You had a couple of drinks after work with your colleagues and now you are driving home. Suddenly you see red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. Before you know it, you are being pulled over by the police and accused of drunk driving. How can you best protect your rights in such situations?
OUI laws in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, if a motorist drives with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above, they can be arrested for operating under the influence (OUI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI). However, you can also be pulled over and arrested for OUI if police determine you are under the influence of intoxicating liquor and cannot safely drive, even if your BAC is below the legal limit. Given the high stakes involved, it is important to know your rights if pulled over by the police on suspicion of OUI.
What can you do if you are pulled over by police?
If you are pulled over by police and are accused of OUI it is important to understand your rights. First, make sure you pull over somewhere safe as soon as possible. Turn off your car and partially roll down your window. Keep your hands on your steering wheel so the police can see them. Try not to make any sudden movements. You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions. If the police ask for your license and registration you can provide this information. Passengers in your vehicle can ask to leave and if permission is granted by police they can silently do so.
The police may ask you to perform a roadside breath test. You can decide whether or not to submit. You do not have to submit to a breath test when asked. However, if you refuse to submit to a breath test when asked your driver’s license may be suspended for a period of time.
Knowing your rights
Knowing your rights when pulled over on suspicion of OUI is important, especially if you are arrested. You can fight OUI charges, but it is important not to do anything that could incriminate yourself. By staying calm and staying silent you can protect your rights.